George Eliot Love Quotes and Sayings
#1-3 Adam Bede, 1859
1. What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life — to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?
2. Love has a way of cheating itself consciously, like a child who plays at solitary hide-and-seek; it is pleased with assurances that it all the while disbelieves.
3. There are few prophets in the world; few sublimely beautiful women; few heroes. I can’t afford to give all my love and reverence to such rarities: I want a great deal of those feelings for my every-day fellow-men, especially for the few in the foreground of the great multitude, whose faces I know, whose hands I touch for whom I have to make way with kindly courtesy.
#4 Janet’s Repentance, Chapter 19
4. Blessed influence of one true loving human soul on another! Not calculable by algebra, not deducible by logic, but mysterious, effectual, mighty as the hidden process by which the tiny seed is quickened, and bursts forth into tall stem and broad leaf, and glowing tasseled flower.
#5 Letter to Georgiana Burne-Jones, wife of the artist Edward Burne-Jones, 1875
5. I like not only to be loved, but also to be told that I am loved. I am not sure that you are of the same kind. But the realm of silence is large enough beyond the grave. This is the world of light and speech, and I shall take leave to tell you that you are very dear.
#6 Daniel Deronda, Chapter 20
6. I think my life began with waking up and loving my mother’s face: it was so near to me, and her arms were round me, and she sang to me.
#7 Romola, 1863, Volume II, Chapter VIII
7. Love does not aim simply at the conscious good of the beloved object: it is not satisfied without perfect loyalty of heart; it aims at its own completeness.
#8 Middlemarch, 1871
8. I suppose a woman is never in love with any one she has always known— ever since she can remember; as a man often is. It is always some new fellow who strikes a girl.
Excerpt from Wikipedia: Mary Anne (Mary Ann, Marian) Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880), better known by her pen name George Eliot, was an English novelist. She was one of the leading writers of the Victorian era. Her novels, largely set in provincial England, are well known for their realism and psychological insight.
She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure that her works were taken seriously. Female authors published freely under their own names, but Eliot wanted to ensure that she was not seen as merely a writer of romances. An additional factor may have been a desire to shield her private life from public scrutiny and to prevent scandals attending her relationship with the married George Henry Lewes.
Sayings by George Eliot
#1 Daniel Deronda, 1876
1. A difference of taste in jokes is a great strain on the affections.
#2-3 Felix Holt, the Radical, 1866
2. I’m proof against that word failure. I’ve seen behind it. The only failure a man ought to fear is failure of cleaving to the purpose he sees to be best.
3. …life is like our game at whist…I don’t enjoy the game much, but I like to play my cards well, and see what will be the end of it…
#4 Middlemarch, Chapter 17
4. One must be poor to know the luxury of giving!
#5 Spanish Gypsy, 1868, Book III
5. It never will rain roses: when we want to have more roses we must plant more trees.
#6 Letter to Charles Bray, 15 November 1857
6. My own experience and development deepen everyday my conviction that our moral progress may be measured by the degree in which we sympathize with individual suffering and individual joy.
#7 Middlemarch, Chapter 50
7. It is surely better to pardon too much, than to condemn too much.
#8 Middlemarch, Chapter 72, 1871
8. What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult to each other? I cannot be indifferent to the troubles of a man who advised me in my trouble, and attended me in my illness.
#9 Impressions of Theophrastus Such/Chapter IV chapter 4, 1879
9. Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.
#10 Middlemarch, Chapter 7
10. To think with pleasure of his niece’s husband having a large ecclesiastical income was one thing – to make a Liberal speech was another thing; and it is a narrow mind which cannot look at a subject from various points of view.
#11 Middlemarch, Chapter LXXII
11. And, of course, men know best about everything, except what women know better.
#12 Journal entry, 31 December 1877
12. The difficulty is, to decide how far resolution should set in the direction of activity rather than in the acceptance of a more negative state.
#13 Janet’s Repentance, Chapter 6
13. Any coward can fight a battle when he’s sure of winning; but give me the man who has pluck to fight when he’s sure of losing. That’s my way, sir; and there are many victories worse than a defeat.
#14 Janet’s Repentance, Chapter 10
14. The blessed work of helping the world forward, happily does not wait to be done by perfect men.
#15 Adam Bede, Chapter 29
15. Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds, and until we know what has been or will be the peculiar combination of outward with inward facts, which constitutes a man’s critical actions, it will be better not to think ourselves wise about his character.
#16 Adam Bede, Chapter 31
16. For there is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow, when we have not yet known what it is to have suffered and be healed, to have despaired and to have recovered hope.
#17 The Mill on the Floss, Book V: Wheat and Tares, Chapter I: In the Red Deeps
17. Our life is determined for us; and it makes the mind very free when we give up wishing, and only think of bearing what is laid upon us, and doing what is given us to do.
#18 The Mill on the Floss, Book VI, Chapter VI: Illustrating the Laws of Attraction
18. I should like to know what is the proper function of women, if it is not to make reasons for husbands to stay at home, and still stronger reasons for bachelors to go out.
#19 The Mill on the Floss, Book I: Boy and Girl, Chapter 3: Mr. Riley Gives His Advice Concerning a School for Tom
19. Better spend an extra hundred or two on your son’s education, than leave it him in your will.
#20 The Mill on the Floss, Book VII: The Final Rescue, Chapter 6: Conclusion
20. Nature repairs her ravages, but not all. The uptorn trees are not rooted again; the parted hills are left scarred; if there is a new growth, the trees are not the same as the old, and the hills underneath their green vesture bear the marks of the past rending. To the eyes that have dwelt on the past, there is no thorough repair.
#21 Middlemarch, Chapter 6
21. Pride helps us; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our own hurts — not to hurt others.
#22 Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, Volume 1
22. Failure after long perseverance is much grander than never to have a striving good enough to be called a failure.
#3 Daniel Deronda, Chapter 6
3. Miss Gwendolen, quite aware that she was adored by this unexceptionable young clergyman with pale whiskers and square-cut collar, felt nothing more on the subject than that she had no objection to being adored: she turned her eyes on him with calm mercilessness and caused him many mildly agitating hopes by seeming always to avoid dramatic contact with him–for all meanings, we know, depend on the key of interpretation.
Unsourced George Eliot Quotes
1. Keep true. Never be ashamed of doing right. Decide what you think is right and stick to it.
2. Adventure is not outside man; it is within.
Misattributed George Eliot Quotes
#1 The Letters of Anne Gilchrist and Walt Whitman
1. Hold up your head! You were not made for failure, you were made for victory: go forward with a joyful confidence in that result sooner or later, and the sooner or later depends mainly on yourself.
#2 A life for a life, Dinah Maria (Mulock) Craik, 1859
2. But oh! the blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearlessly on any subject; with whom one’s deepest as well as one’s most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort—the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person—having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.
#3 Possibly from: No star is ever lost we once have seen, we always may be what we might have been. – Adelaide Anne Procter
3. It is never too late to be what you might have been.